Innovate Iloilo movement plans October summit for start-ups, investors

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INNOVATE ILOILO, which hopes to make Iloilo City an innovation hub by 2030, is organizing its first conference which will feature a business-matching activity for start-ups and investors.

“Through this, we can create awareness… and at the same time to connect the innovators and the start-ups to the business community. We will showcase them and connect to the future investors,” Rayjand T. Gellamucho, manager of the West Visayas State University-Green Technology Business Incubator and curator of Global Shapers Community Iloilo, said in an interview.

Global Shapers Community is among the backers of Innovate Iloilo, together with the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), academic institutions, local government units (LGUs), and business groups.

Innovate Iloilo was formally launched Aug. 13 along with a website ( and social media pages.

Mr. Gellamucho said the end goal is not just to put Iloilo on the map as an innovation hub but to share ideas on how start-ups can address problems in dealing with systems and institutions.

“What we really want is to influence government agencies, policy makers and the academic institutions to support the fourth industrial revolution and to educate them. Subong hindi lang (So not just) hardware but we need to venture into the internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning,” he said.

He said that LGUs can become “smart” institutions by adopting technologies to improve governance and public service delivery.

Iloilo Business Club (IBC) Executive Director Lea E. Lara said the movement is also a good venue for promoting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

“It is a good platform for the SMEs to come up with good products and services. We have seen already local products like turmeric and oils but what we are really hoping is to come up with products and services that are uniquely Ilonggo and can compete in the market,” she said.

Mr. Gellamucho said aside from the The Iloilo Innovation Expo and NICP (National ICT Confederation of the Philippines) Summit on Oct. 21-25, several other activities are also being planned while the Innovate Iloilo road map is finalized.

“Government agencies, both the city and the province, the academic institutions, will have their activities in line with making Iloilo an innovation hub by 2030. Like DoST and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), they are doing their own initiatives to support the ecosystem of start-ups here in Iloilo,” he said.

DTI–Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research Director Maria Lourdes A. Yaptinchay said during the launch that innovation has become a “prime mover of socioeconomic growth.”

“It can propel the development of Iloilo in terms of economy governance and delivery of services.” — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo